Accountability and all that Jazz Part One

 

 

Word count accocuntability
Word count at 9am 21st March 2018

 

 

Let the challenge begin

Inspired by the challenge Viola Bleu has set herself in her post below and the conversation we had after we have teamed up this morning to see if we can improve our word count for our WIPs.

The kettle is on and provisions are at hand let the art of self-discipline begin!

 

Motivational post by Viola Bleu


Today I’ve really been thinking hard about the astonishing word count I’ve managed to notch up blogging since I started. WordPress, as you know, has the clever ability to show us our stats at any given moment and I have become slightly addicted to watching the numbers grow. In 2018 alone I have typed over […]

via I lost my self-discipline, but found 34,000 words — Ideas.Become.Words

Writing Slumps and a Little Gem of a Book

Yesterday was a bad day.  My intentions of having a productive day fell apart rapidly. After reading my previous attempts at writing the beginning of my current WIP my confidence shattered. I have been struggling with where to start the novel for ages so I have focussed on other scenes but the beginning needed to be tackled.  I could not translate the visions in my mind on to the page, the writing did not flow, and I struggled to find the best place to start so the reader is hooked. I closed the tab and reread some blog posts I had written the night before. They also did not work. Self-analysis kicked in, comparing myself with the productivity and talent of others and self-doubt took hold. I began to question

  • The wisdom of self-hosting my new blog instead of remaining in the free away from WordPress platform. I miss the interaction with others and the sense of community. My followers plummeted since the move.
  • My writing ability
  • Productivity – I am so slow compared to others
  • My ability to balance writing, ambition and family life

 

I was ready to click the delete button.

But then I logged on to my favourite facebook writers group and blurted out my feelings. It was not long before I received support, commiserations, and advice. This helped so much. Never underestimate the power of the support in online groups and friends. They get you through bad days.  After a good old fashioned cry, door slamming and consuming vast amounts of Jelly Tots and Yorkshire tea I began to feel better.

I also opened a book I had wished for on NetGalley, Old English Medical Remedy by Sinead Spearing. Thank you, Pen and Sword for granting my wish.  It was different to what I was expecting but it is a perfect gem of a book which would make the old witches of Ellfaen clap their hands in glee. It is full of information, remedies, and beliefs of 9th Century and it gave me my spark back.

Today I am back on my PC  in my writing space that I had to vacate over  Christmas for visitors and back to writing.

 

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Thank you to all my online friends and fellow writers!

 

Thank you very much to Mai Taylor,  Viola Bleu, Kiltie Jackson and others I don’t know your blogs – yet!

How do you get over writing slumps?

Happy writing!

 

Writing, failure and new beginnings.

I am a NaNoWriMo loser! While writers everywhere celebrate their commitment, dedication to their work and receive their rewards I am having a cup of tea vowing I will do better next year.

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This was originally posted on my old version of this blog yesterday 30th Nov 2017:

Writing, failure and new beginnings.

November started with hope and enthusiasm as I joined hundreds  of thousands of writers globally to write for NaNoWriMo but it ended in failure. Even my goal to write to 10000 words faltered and then hurtled to a full stop. If NaNoWriMo had to write a school report it would say “she could do better if she applied herself” before handing me a sticker declaring ” NaNoWriMo 2017 loser”.

#NaNoWriMoloser #writing

I could come up with a pageful of excuses and reasons but they do not change the truth.  I failed. I wasn’t committed enough to write despite life’s hurdles,  strong enough to fight through the fear of failure and just write the scenes in my head, however crap the words were but most of all, I was not assertive enough to implement my plan of retreating to my room undisturbed to write. As I saw other writers word count grow and welfies appear showing their commitment to the cause, mine crumbled with shame. This sealed my fate because a mind full of “I should be doing …” leaves no room for creativity.

On the plus side words were written, new ideas were formed and old ones developed. The  shame of not achieving my daily target made me analyse my commitment to The Ellfaenian Journals, writing and acheiving my dream of being a published author. The desire is stronger than ever. When life tugged me away from my writing, it flared with rage as restrictions were placed on it.  This forced me to lay the foundations with family to allow me in the future to work undisturbed. Writer’s block and procrastination  diverted  my mind to the other side of being an author – marketing and promoting.

Writers can no longer hide, write and appear blinking from a study with a manuscript in hand to forward to a publisher before hiding again. They are expected to promote their own work especially debut authors. This requires becoming social media saffy, networking and battling with strong introvert tendencies and talk to people.

When I wasn’t writing I was learning. YouTube videos, articles and Pinterest are my new best friends. I now understand what a SEO is, set up a domain homeserver and SSL. I was sucked into the complicated world of WordPress and I discovered WordPress themes and widgets are a perfect for procrastinators. You can play for hours.

This month I failed NaNoWriMo but I have gained vital knowledge to move forward with a new site, improved enthusiasm and stronger foundations to achieve my goal.

My new site is kakenzie.com Please follow the link as it will no longer show on WordPress reader. Potentially I lose all my followers for the desire more freedom and flexibility and I would hate to lose you so hop over. Thank you.

I have rambled enough and it is time to write. Christmas is days away and there is nothing like twinkling lights, festive atmosphere to sow new seeds of ideas.

How did your NaNoWriMo go?

Happy writing.

Hope you like the new site, let me know suggestions welcome.

The Curse of the Abandoned Writer’s Muse

ElsieLast time I introduced the world to Elsie, my  Dr Marten stomping fairy muse. She has been busy sharing ideas and gossip at silly o’clock in this morning. One of thoughts was what happens when a writer’s muse gets ignored. Do the ideas get flitted away to someone else more reciprocal to them, do they vanish in a puff of smoke or does the fairy responsible for them become despondent and depressed? Maybe the muse gives up and looks for attention elsewhere leading them into the criminal  shady underground world of the fairies where alcohol and drug addiction is rife. When their assigned artist/writer finally takes note their muse is battered, bruised and shared ideas are half remembered, distorted, scary and on the verge of madness or not there at all. The writer fumes he or she has writer’s block leading them to become despondent and depressed so a vicious circle commences.

November is coming and with it NanoWriMo. Old writers, new ones beginning their journey and those who have lost their way all open their minds and become enthused with the idea of getting words down on paper or screen. At the same time, muses everywhere get themselves ready.  Old ones iron out their wrinkled wings, despondent ones dust themselves off and patch themselves up as much as possible to give it one final chance while new ones nervously set off to find their creative mind to work with.

J M Barrie said you have to believe in fairies or they will die. Maybe he is right and knew something about these muse fairies. If you have an idea jot it down. If it keeps coming back, develop it into something. Keep your muse happy, believe in them, your ideas and let them flourish.

Happy Writing!

Illustration by Debra McFarlane. For inspiration for your own fairy muse visit

https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane

 

Introducing Elsie, My Writer’s Muse

#inkdrawing #writer #muse

According to the Oxford dictionary the definition of muse is

‘A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist’

A while ago I came across a writing prompt simply titled The Muse.

In the past when I have thought of a muse I have imagined a serene, elegant lady draped in a slender 1920s dress who glided into a room inspiring an artist to sketch, draw and paint. She would be gentle and encourage the artist out of his doubts and inevitable artistic slumps. When I think of my muse, the source of my ideas, I see Elsie.

Serene, gentle and elegant, she is not and forget about encouragement. She is more likely to tell you “you will make it  rubbish anyway” than utter sympathy. As a tiny fairy she is hard to pin down. Flitting here and there, she visits and shares ideas when she chooses and no more.  Dr Marten boots are often stamped  in frustration if she thinks she is being ignored usually because it isn’t time for me to stop and write.

As a night owl, she insists on waking you up at 3am with a bagful of ideas that make your head spin. If you don’t act quickly enough or act enthused she will hold her inspiration and perfectly formed words close to her chest and fly off in a huff for days. No matter how much you beg her to return to relieve the frustration of writer’s block she refuses to come. in her eyes, writer’s cramp, illness or exhaustion are not good enough excuses to not write.

As you can tell, her temperament is extreme but luckily, her hair changes depending on her mood. You smile if she is adorning pink tresses for romance is in the air or if there are shades of rainbow, exciting things are ahead.  It is time to hide under the duvet if her hair is raven black. The ideas she will deliver will inevitably  be full of doom or sorrow.

Why do I keep her and not search for my 1920s muse? Because as bristly as she is, she is funny and has moments when her childish, fun streak peeks through but most of all, I love her and the worlds she creates in my mind.

So when she arrives: I listen, try to take notes and hope when I read them later I can understand the blurry, tired scrawl because, as you will have guessed, she will never repeat an idea or perfect paragraph twice.

I would love to hear about your muse, if you have one in the comments. How do you control them or like my Elsie, do they control you?
A special thanks to Debra McFarlane for bringing Elsie to life and encouraging me to write. If you would like to see more of Debra’s work she can be found at:

http://www.debramcfarlane.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/debimcfarlane/

And she has just launched her  page on Patreon

https://www.patreon.com/DebraMcFarlane